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The Dreamer Who Dreams You

The Dreamer Who Dreams You

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The Dreamer Who Dreams You

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Lançado em:
Mar 16, 2012


An opening into the dream of the day and the dream of the night.
Lançado em:
Mar 16, 2012

Sobre o autor

I am Daniel Stone. Originally an Essex boy I left home at nineteen to study at the London College of Printing in Elephant and Castle. I moved around London until I met my wife and now live and work in Hertfordshire with our daughter and cat and fishes. I used to use my daily commute into the city as my time to write. I am a season ticket holder at West Ham United and the Uxbridge Rovers. When I’m not at work, football or fishing I enjoy travelling the world, running and spending time with my friends and family.

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The Dreamer Who Dreams You - Daniel Stone



All my life I have dreamed heavily, and these dreams have always felt more real to me than what most people call ‘reality’. As a child I created a private world in which these dreaming dimensions could breathe. Later, I moved the energies into the creative expression – writing, music, painting. I was very sceptical of all things ‘spiritual’ and accepted my dreamworld more in the context of the ‘artist’.

Sixteen years ago, I started a relationship, and I found that sleeping next to my partner, my night dreams went even crazier than ever. I started seeing spirits and forms at night and even during the day. These were the kind of experiences no psychotherapy or psychology could answer. I couldn’t paint or write or sing enough to make sense of these dreams. Somewhat in desperation, I had to throw away my spiritual scepticism, because the only beginnings of answers I could feel were in the worlds of what is called the ‘occult’ or the ‘esoteric’ – convenient words used to describe what the western rational mind cannot handle. I began to study all kinds of spiritual movements, and was particularly attracted to Wicca. From there my dreams started to talk clearly of ‘the shaman’.

It became something of an obsession to find out what this word means. There was a course in Shamanism in North Wales with the Deer Tribe and I thought this course would give me the answers. I learnt a lot, yet there seemed to be something inauthentic in that an Englishman in Wales was translating a tradition from North America devised by someone half Irish and half Cherokee! My dreaming was moving in the right direction, but I still had this yearning to meet the ‘real shaman’.

My dreaming then told me to go to Peru. When I say ‘dreaming’, I mean the intuitive messages which we receive day and night. Sometimes these messages can be somewhat obscure, but in this case, I was lying on a beach looking at the stars, and someone from somewhere said – Go to Peru! Well, messages are messages, and one can take them or leave them, but when the whole body knows, then the whole body knows, and not to follow such a message would be like denying ones own intuitive innate wisdom held in the bones of the body.

The journey to Peru began a 12-year quest to find the real shaman. In this time, I have worked with shamans in Peru, Bolivia, Australia, Guatemala, Mexico and Nepal.

(I count Tibetan Buddhism as a type of shamanism). I have had many beautiful and mystical experiences, countless ceremonies, teacher plants, theories, stories, myths, and magic. Did I find the real shaman? My question was frustrated by the in-fighting which I found in the shamanic world. It was very rare for me to find a shaman who did not complain about another who was a charlatan because they did not use this type of prayer, or this medicine wheel, or this power tool, or this system from this lineage. I found many shamans in isolated jungles and mountains trying to prove to me that they were the real shamans!

Well, amongst all the squabbling, there were some real jewels. The most authentic shaman I have met was Don Francisco who lives in the Peruvian Amazon. He runs retreats working with curative plants. His whole manner is beautifully simple. Very little ceremony, very little ritual, a short prayer, a blow of tobacco over the plant mixture, and a song. He drinks, we drink, and then the song. Sometimes the song lasts a few minutes, sometimes the whole night. The song leads the dreamer through the dreams of the earth, the dreams of other worlds, other dimensions. I have heard many songs used by shamans to communicate with the spirit world, but this song, more than any other, went straight to the heart. There was no need for elaborate ceremony, theory, or ritual. The song did what the Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhists call – ‘Cutting Through’. His song went directly to the heart of matter.

Who can teach this? Who can teach how to open the heart? I used the word ‘authentic’ to describe this shaman because something was touched deeply inside of me. What moved me was song, which was not his song. It was the song of the jungle, of the plants, of the trees that sang through him. This shaman was invisible – I could forget him and listen to the voices of the planet earth. My authentic real shaman did not exist. Supreme humility was his beauty.

This meeting with Don Francisco changed the scope of the enquiry. I had met someone I could truly say felt like a real shaman to me, yet my question did not feel answered. I had met the real shaman and yet I was still looking for the real shaman. My dreaming took me to Thailand and Nepal and a long and deep enquiry into my connection with the Buddhist tradition. I studied in the Buddhist temples and came up with a similar question - who is the real Shaman - who is the real Buddha?

There was still something intangible which was missing. I had to let this contradiction hang in the air for a while, without really understanding it. I realised I did not understand the question. So, trying to understand the question, I was taken to Mexico. I was following one of those messages that you can’t argue with. The message was just as blunt – Go to Mexico – which was somewhat inconvenient at the time because I was in the Bolivian Amazon. However, I was far enough down the path of following the intuitive messages to know that I may not know the meaning of the message until later. I had no idea about Mexico and it was the first of the 30 countries I have visited without a guidebook. I didn’t need one. This was home. Home in the bones. A resonance I had never felt before anywhere in the world. Mexico had called me.

Continuing my ‘real shaman’ question, I set up a meeting with the Huichol shamans in the north. It was and is very difficult to connect with the isolated Huichols. It required a lot of ‘luck’ and work and patience over a period of a year to arrange it. Because of all this effort, by the time it was set up, it felt very precious. You get out what you put in. I met the young Huichol with whom I was to wait for the shaman or ‘curandero’ or ‘maracami’, in Morelia, Central Mexico. We had to wait some days, and on one of these days, I sat in a café overlooking the central plaza. I heard a voice that basically said – Go to the desert by yourself. I had a furious argument with this voice because of all the work I had put in, but the voice just repeated itself. These voices don’t use reason; they are more like energies, impulses. It is a bit like trying to argue with your own God. Well, if Woody Allen does it, why not me? Just for the record, God won and I went to the desert by myself.

If shamans had taught me anything, it is how to listen to the Earth. They have taught me how to listen to the stars, the planets. The most important lesson I have learnt from them is that everything speaks, everything has a language – the trees, the plants, the rocks, the rivers, the mountains, the sea. It is just a question of learning languages. In the desert, this lesson came home to me more than ever. Lying in the Earth, I could feel how it breathes through my body, how the stars connect through the breath, and how the tree is an intermediary between dimensions. It was here that I understood why I was told to come alone. The real shaman was not a man who does not speak my language, whose customs and traditions are so far from my own. The real shaman was inside of me. I could hear him talking directly, showing me new ways to listen to new languages, how to walk calmly between the worlds, between dreams. I could feel this shaman as intimately as a lover, as real as love, as honest as nakedness. This shaman could speak straight from the heart.

Am I so special? No. The artist, the poet, the priest, the priestess, the healer, the magician, the counsellor, the lover. These are the compositions of the ‘real shaman’ inside waiting to be sung.

Some years later, I was told by my guides to meet with the Huichols again. This time there was clarity around what is possible in such a relation and what is not. As the Huichol shaman sang, I understood that the indigenous shamans sing the song of the land in which they live. They have a continuous dialogue. It is a dialogue between the human and the other beings on this planet. It is also a dialogue with other planets and the stars. This song has been sung for centuries. The preciousness of their song is our connection with this life. When it is lost, we will lose a part of ourselves. The Huichol shaman sang, and I listened to the land that he sings.

What the Huichol shaman cannot do so well is to bridge the huge gap between cultures, between traditions and times. For this, there is a need for translators, time travellers who can more between these worlds on the earth from the desert and the jungle to the city. Even within Mexico, translators are needed to bridge the gap between the indigenous cultures and the modern city life. They are worlds that don’t understand each other’s language. The city roars, but without the wisdom of the root.

I could go back to my teacher in North Wales I hope with a touch more humility. He also was a translator, trying to help us remember the root of our ancestral knowledge. He helped me on the path of opening my heart to the memory. Was he a real shaman? Well, I can say now with all the incredible lightness of being – it doesn’t matter.

This book has been written over a period of seven years under the supervision of my most influential teacher – Chu-Ra, who lives in Mexico. It developed from a writing relation with the desert, which culminated in a piece of writing that seemed to bring together the essence of all the teachings I have received from around the world. This is printed in full in the chapter ‘Speak’. I took the piece to Chu-Ra, and she told me that it needed translation. There then followed a six-year period of careful translation which has gone through many trials and errors with circles and seminars. I understand that my work is linguistic in the sense of translating languages between worlds, and so much of the work is in trying to feel the right sound, the song.

A small section of ‘speak’ is given at the beginning of each chapter in italic. I then offer a theoretical framework, particularly in the earlier chapters, together with personal experiences. Exercises are also given. They are designed to be building blocks, which develop the strength of the reader’s ability to dream the day and the night with full consciousness. The experiences in the desert taught me, more than anything, that the greatest teachers are all around us and inside us. They are waiting for the opportunity to be heard. When the space is made, there is a chance to listen.


We start at the beginning. First breath. Without intention. An exhalation. No thought. By itself. It began. Breath of no thing. Natural. Nothing itself. There is no difference.

An inhalation. Appearing different. From no breath to breath. But there was no intention. It was nothing. It still is nothing.

And then the catch.

Everything comes from nothing

I remember one moment at university that changed the course of my life. I was on the way to the first lecture of the morning. I walked down the same road I had walked down for over a year. There was nothing apparently extraordinary about that morning, my mind was wandering in its own way, and then it stopped. My mind stopped. My stomach left me. It was like those cartoons where the character is running over land and carries on running over a cliff. There is that classic moment when the character realises that there is nothing underneath. No more land on which to run. This is the point where the character looks into the camera at the viewer in desperation.

I looked at the house. I looked at the people around me. I could no longer believe in them. I could no longer believe they existed. Everyone was walking as if they knew what they were doing and where they were going. In this moment I knew they had no idea. I had no idea. We were all going through the motions. The world became a stage-set with actors unaware that they were acting. I couldn’t move. I could hardly breathe.

I was staring one enormous question in the face –

What is real?

And the only answer I could feel was –


Everything comes from nothing. I understood in this moment this excruciating and exhilarating paradox. My stomach left me. In its place was fear. Anxiety. Dread. And then it changed to something that seemed even bigger. Love. Bigger than love. A completion. In my breath, there was something that wasn’t breathing. My breath was something and nothing at the same time.

The moment came and went. I continued walking in a stupor. I went to the lecture and stared the whole time at the clouds. Something had changed. I wasn’t the same. I found it difficult to study and soon left university. I tried to understand this moment for many years, but it was only when I began to meditate, some years later, that I could begin to make some sense of this ‘something coming from nothing.’ The nothing is not the nothing of negation. It is the nothing of everything. The Buddhist teachers I have met call it the Dharmakaya. Quabbalist teachers have called it the Ain Soph. The individual no longer needs to exist in separation, and becomes instead the all. The First Breath is the thinnest line on the horizon between the all and the nothing.

Completion asks for nothing because it is complete. The breath is given without any expectation. It is unconditional. There are places we can reach through the breath where everything is given for nothing. It is our root. Our birthright. We were born free.

The Great Mystery of the universe is – why the universe? Why was there a movement from completion to separation? No one knows (that is why it is a mystery), but lots of people have fun trying to guess. There are a lot of clues - what moves a painter to paint a picture; what moves a writer to write a book; what moves a filmmaker to make a film; a poet to sing? The Australian Aboriginals believe that the Earth is a perfect dream that flows from and with the stars. The dreamer is the artist and the dreamed Earth the masterpiece. The breath of the universe is the continuing dream. We are part of a painting which is being painted whilst we breathe.

To touch the First Breath is to touch the edge of the creative mind. It is the place where the painter is the painted, the writer the written, the poet the song, the dreamer is the dreamt. When a meditator reaches the profound depths of the breath, the paradoxes do not create tension. There are places in the breath where there is nothing to be explained.

Breath Awareness Meditations

Breath awareness meditations are easy and difficult. They are easy because all we are required to do is to sit and breathe. They are difficult because most people don’t know how to simply sit and breathe.

Why is this?

Most people lead very busy lives, externally, internally, or both. The mind becomes very congested. Busy minded people are constantly followed by trains of thought. When they stop to simply breathe, the trains catch up, and the mind is buzzing like Waterloo station at peak hours. This is when the war begins –

This isn’t meditation, this is hell.

I’m useless at meditating.

I need a drink.

The mistake I made when I assiduously tried to study meditation, was the mistake everyone seems to make – trying too hard. I went from temple to temple in Asia looking for that moment when I could say I had a good meditation. I judged which was a right thought and which a wrong thought, and so ended up in a state of constant reaction to my experience. The point of breath awareness meditation is not to have a particular thought or feeling or sensation, but to become aware of what the thoughts

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